A day after his retaliatory response added social media fuel to the rivalry between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs, pitcher John Brebbia got the chance to describe the full context of what happened while at the Cardinals Caravan stop in Peoria.
“We were doing a kind of a Q & A, I’d almost call it like a town hall style setup,” Brebbia explained. “Someone asked if we had heard the comments that Kris Bryant made, and what our reactions were. And we didn’t know what he said. So he shouted it at us. But he mentioned that Kris called St Louis boring, and I don’t know anybody in St. Louis who enjoys that opinion, so just tried to shuffle those off to the side.”
Always quick with a quote, Brebbia responded with “Cry me a river, loser”.
“I’m not much of a social media guru so yeah, I got a little taste of what it’s like to have my photo on an Instagram page, or whatever it’s called,” Brebbia said.
Fellow Cardinals reliever Chasen Shreve, who is a native of Las Vegas and friend of Bryant, was next to Brebbia during today’s media session and was asked if he now helps serve as a mediator?
“I don’t, I actually haven’t even seen the video yet,” he replied. “We were kind of busy yesterday. And I’m trying to stay a little out of it, just because Kris is is a good buddy of mine. But I’m sure what he said was all fun and games really. Maybe we think Chicago is a little boring? I don’t know. You know,? It’s his opinion. But yeah, we’re ready to get out there and beat the Cubs.”
While Brebbia was keeping his usual humor about the situation, he turned serious when asked about how Yadier Molina responded.
“He’s a guy who’s passionate about this city,” Brebbia said. “He loves this city, he’s been good to it, it’s been good to him. He has my full support for sure. I love being out here, and I love being his teammate, and I’m standing by him for as long as he needs.”
So is Cardinals manager Mike Shildt, who provided some additional wit and levity to the situation.
“I appreciate it on a lot of levels,” Shildt said. “I support Yadi’s comments completely. I don’t know Kris that well. He’s a really good player. He’s clearly entitled to his opinion, and everybody has their opinion on what’s considered boring or not. The way I kind of look at it from a real perspective is you look up and – I went to the Stan Musial Awards dinner and Stan seemed to find this to be a nice home for him and his family and has created a legacy with his award. I saw Ozzie Smith, another local St. Louisian receive an award for doing some charitable work.
“About a week later I went to the Pujols Foundation gala, which they do wonderful charity work in the St. Louis area. Albert still feels inclined to come back. Matt Holliday will be at an event, Holliday’s Heroes, Monday’s night. So he finds it interesting to come back and support. I’ve always looked forward to bumping into Whitey around town, who still lives here.
“Lou Brock still is a proud St. Louisian. I had a wonderful, I felt like a wonderful, entertaining dinner last night with Paul and Amy Goldschmidt at Dominic’s and I was far from bored in a three-hour dinner that we enjoyed and had a nice meal and enjoyed some conversation. I’d like to think Paul enjoyed himself, and Amy as well. Monday night I’m going to have dinner with Jim Edmonds who is now living here and moved from sunny California. I don’t think he’s overly bored with St. Louis. I don’t think dinner will be boring with him and Tony, who comes back and does some ARF events.
“Everyone has their own definition of boring, and I always respect people’s opinions. I respect Kris as a player and he’s entitled to it. I also support our catcher, Yadi. I back his comments.”
Speaking later in the day, Jose Martinez shared why he too was offended by Bryant’s comments.
“I have respect for these people because St. Louis has respect for me,” Martinez said. “I don’t think any player is going to say stuff like that about Chicago. I lived in Chicago when I was a child and my father played. That was the first city I visited when I was a child. I’m never going to say something about a city. No matter what happens in the stands, I’m not going to say something. You’re going to respect the fans. You’re going to respect the city. And I’m not going to go just break something in the streets. These people in St. Louis are really respectful, and I think they are the best fans in the world. I’m always going to have a respect for them, and we are going to fight back if somebody says something like that.”
Pitcher Miles Mikolas also tried to find some fun in the situation.
“You talk bad about my team’s city, gets under your skin a little bit,” Mikolas acknowledged. “Do I think he was probably just caught up in the moment, on a little Cubs talk show, goofing around, maybe a little bit. He kind of let it slip that he doesn’t like playing here, and I think the Cardinals fans are going to let him know that we don’t like him playing here just as much as he doesn’t like playing here. He should get some good fan reaction. I think it will be a lot of fun.”
While he has yet to play a game in the big leagues, catching prospect Andrew Knizner has spent some time working alongside Molina in Spring Training and waxed a bit poetic on the situation.
“I think Yadi is a tough guy and I think he likes to have that respect,” Knizner reminded. “I think it sort of connects to what position he plays and that’s catcher. You’re always kind of defending home plate. I think he did the exact same thing in that Instagram post he put out. He was defending kind of the home plate of St. Louis. I thought it was symbolic in a way.”
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI